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Forests and Ecological History of Assam, 1826–2000$
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Arupjyoti Saikia

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780198069539

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198069539.001.0001

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Science in the Forests

Science in the Forests

Rethinking Conservation

Chapter:
(p.205) 5 Science in the Forests
Source:
Forests and Ecological History of Assam, 1826–2000
Author(s):

Arupjyoti Saikia

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198069539.003.0006

This chapter examines how in the urge for scientific forestry, the foresters in Assam took recourse to the local experiences. It also discusses how both scientific management and commercialization of forests began to mould the history of forest conservation in Assam. Under the colonial rule, the Assam forests were subjected to the application of science. Intricate scientific experiments were carried out inside the Assam forests and these include forest plantations, silvicultural practices, taungya cultivation, and regulation of forest fires or insects. Throughout the early nineteenth century, science contributed to the various aspects of Assam forests. Although dependence on science in the late nineteenth century diminished, the entire forest management came to depend on science in the twentieth century. This transformed the commercial character of the forests including forest behaviour and its ecological system. In the long run, it was science that transformed the character of the local forest landscape.

Keywords:   scientific forestry, scientific management, commercialization of forests, forest conservation, scientific experiments, forest plantations, silvicultural practices, taungya cultivation, regulation of forest fires, forest management

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